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WVU Medicine adds 28-day inpatient drug treatment center in Morgantown


The State Journal

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A new inpatient residential drug treatment facility in Monongalia County will be the first of its kind in the state when it is completed.

WVU Medicine will lease and operate the facility, which will have 32 residential treatment beds and 12 detox beds, said Amy Johns, director of Public Affairs & Creative Services, Marketing & Communications. The center will employ 37 people when fully staffed.

Chestnut Ridge Center will oversee patient treatment, she said. Recovery Properties LLC is building the facility at a cost of $12 million.

Builders anticipate opening the center in early fall 2018 “on multi-acre, somewhat isolated location adjacent to Mylan Park, but outside of the park boundaries, that will offer a serene environment for the residents of the facility,” Johns said.

“It’s important to note that this is not a mental health hospital, and not a place where patients would be assigned treatment by the courts,” she said. “It follows the Hazelden Betty Ford model of offering intensive, first-class inpatient care in a 28-day program, and will be the first of its kind in the state.

“The mission of the center would be to help West Virginia adults who need access to a first-class program that offers recovery from addiction,” Johns added. “We will be negotiating in-network contracts with as many major payers as we can. Most patients will have health insurance, and they could be from surrounding states. Medicaid patients would be seen as charity care until we can accept and bill Medicaid.”

The beds will be separately licensed and not included in the overall inpatient bed count of WVU Hospitals or WVU Medicine, she said.

“There is widespread acknowledgement of the opioid crisis in this state and the dire need and demand for treatment of addicting substances,” Johns said. “A 28-day residential treatment center is the next step in the continuum of care that WVU Medicine already provides.”

The center will give comprehensive treatment targeted to all addicting substances, she said.

“Given the issues facing West Virginia, alcohol and opioids will be of most acute concern, however tobacco, amphetamines, cannabinoids, and other substances will be treated as well,” Johns said. “As the state’s flagship academic medical center, we have an obligation to lead efforts in trying to solve these problems. We will be offering inpatient medication-assisted treatment for people who are addicted to opioids and other substances.

“WVU Medicine has had a leading role in the fight against addiction for many years,” Johns added. “Our medication-assisted treatment program is considered a model that other programs across the country are following. We are training physicians throughout the state on how to handle their patients who are addicted, and conduct public education on these issues as well. Aside from adult residential treatment, we offer the full range of addiction services from acute inpatient, day programming, and intensive outpatient management. This facility puts the final, missing piece in the entire spectrum of medical care.”

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